Save Money and Improve Your Photos
For the young business, the cost of product photos can add up fast. There are plenty of advantages to hiring a professional product photographer, but not everyone can afford to invest.
That is why I have created this guide. Here you will learn my top DIY product photography tips. With some time and practice, you can improve your photos and make more sales. Plus your product photography for social media will generate more followers and clients to help your business continue to grow.
Equipment and Tools
The first step in DIY product photography is to make sure you have the right equipment and tools. Here are some essential items you’ll need:
Camera: While a high-end DSLR is ideal, a smartphone camera can also work well with the right techniques. If you’re looking to buy a camera, I recommend the Canon EOS Rebel T7 or Nikon D3500 as great entry-level options.
Lenses: A lens with a low aperture, such as f/1.8 or f/2.8, will help create a shallow depth of field and give your photos a professional look. I recommend the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM or Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G.
Tripod: A sturdy tripod will help keep your camera steady and prevent blurry photos. I recommend the AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod.
Lighting: Good lighting is essential for high-quality product photos. You can use natural light or artificial lighting, such as softbox lights or ring lights. We recommend the Neewer 2-Pack 660 LED Video Light for an affordable lighting option.
Tools: Cleaning and preparing your products for photography is crucial. You’ll need tools such as microfiber cloths, a lint roller, and a steamer to ensure your products look their best.
Want more suggestions on product photography equipment for beginners? Check out this article!
Photography is light, without it you’d have no photos. Here are some tips to help improve your lighting:
Natural Light: When using natural light, try to shoot near a window. A sheer window curtain can create diffused light. Diffused or “soft” light creates softer, lighter shadows being cast by your products.
Artificial Lighting: Some photographers are afraid of artifical light. It is actually easy to work with if you practice. There are several choices for inexpensive lights. Softbox lights help create a diffused light source that mimics natural light. Ring lights can spread an even lighting across your image. When working with artifical light, positioning is important. Put the lights at a 45-degree angle from the product. Then experiment with the distance to find the right balance of light.
Avoid Glare: Reflective surfaces are difficult to photograph. You want to avoid glares or bright “hot spots”coming off your product. If you can look at the photo and see the room in a reflection it is bad photography. To help avoid these problems, use a polarizing filter on your camera lens. It also helps to change the angle of your lights.
Another tip is to cut a hole in a piece of white foam core and put your lens through that. This helps remove room reflection and provide a beautiful white highlight on the product.
Bounce Light: Consider using a piece of white foam core board opposite your light source. The white surface will bounce the light back into the frame and lighten up shadows. This is especially helpful when you have limited natural light.
Following these tips DIY lighting tips to create well-lit and professional-looking product photos. Also, experiment by moving your lights around to create different looks. You may find a lighting set up you like even better for your products.
Composition and Styling
For your product photography to look professional, you will need composition and styling. Here are some tips:
Background: Choose a clean and simple product photography background that won’t distract from your product. White or light gray are good options.
Props: Use props sparingly to add context or create a lifestyle feel. Be careful not to overwhelm the product with too many props.
Angles: Shoot your product from different angles. Be sure to get close-ups and detail shots.
Consistency: You should aim for a consistent look and feel for all your product photos. Consistency helps build brand recognition.
Rule of Thirds: When composing your photo, imagine a frame. Divide it into thirds both horizontally and vertically. This creates nine equal parts. Place your product at one of the intersections of these lines. You can also place it along one of the lines, or within a section of the grid. This helps to create a more visually appealing composition.
Leading Lines: Use leading lines to draw the viewer’s eye towards your product. In landscape and outdoor portraits, people often use roads or fences. For product photography you have to be a bit more creative. Try lining up your products in different directions. Use a fabric backdrop that has soft folds leading to your product. Imagination is key.
Negative Space: Another go to composition is negative space. Leave areas of empty space around your product, to create a more minimalist and clean look. You can also use this space to add your logo or text that highlights the product features.
Symmetry: Use symmetry to create a balanced and pleasing composition. This works especially well for products with a symmetrical design.
Shooting techniques are essential for capturing great product photos. Here are some tips:
Manual Mode: Shoot in manual mode to have full control over your camera’s settings.
Focus: Ensure that your product is in sharp focus by using a single focus point or manual focus.
Aperture: Use a low aperture, such as f/1.8 or f/2.8, to create a shallow depth of field and blur the background.
Shutter Speed: Use a fast shutter speed to avoid blurry photos caused by camera shake or subject movement.
Editing and Post-Processing
Editing and post-processing will help your product photos look more professional. Here are some tips:
Software: Use editing software such as Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom to make adjustments to your photos.
Exposure: Adjust the exposure to be sure that your product is well-lit. Be careful not to over or under expose the photo.
Color Correction: Check your white balance to make sure the product colors match. Using color saturation your product’s colors can be muted or vibrant. Just remember, the photo should LOOK just like the product. Otherwise you may be getting a lot of returns.
Remove Distracting Elements: Still photos show more defects than you can see with the eye. Remove dust and small blemishes to make the photo better. You can use the clone stamp or healing brush tool for this. Remember you are only making small changes to the product. Don’t go overboard!
File Format: Save your photos in a high-quality file format such as JPEG or PNG. Once you have the high-resolution image, you should create web optimized versions. Uploading the correct size and dpi (dots per inch) you make the files smaller to ensure fast loading times. This is as important for your own website as it is for photos on e-commerce platforms like Amazon.
Use these DIY product photography tips to improve your photos. They will help you take professional-looking images without breaking the bank. Remember to experiment and have fun. Don’t be afraid to try new things. That’s how you learn and grow. Good luck, and happy shooting!
Too much involved or not having any luck with taking creative product images? Reach out, my specialty is creating a positive ROI on product photography for small businesses.
Discover How Professional Photography Can Elevate Your Brand
Get a Custom Quote Tailored to Your Specific Needs
Take a minute to fill out the form below. Doing so will help me understand your product photography needs. Once I receive your information, I'll reach out to you personally to discuss the project in more detail and create a customized quote for you.
You may also text me at: 410-596-4127 or E-mail me at: email@example.com